Hey Dad! victim Sarah Monahan has confessed that she thinks disgraced reporter Ben McCormack may have become a paedophile after covering her child sex abuse case.
The former child actress made the admission about the scandal on A Current Affair on Tuesday, where she said she felt "guilt" over the journalist's downfall.
Ben had investigated her story after she claimed in 2010 that Robert Hughes, who played her father on the popular 1980s and 90s TV show, had sexually assaulted her when she was a child.
Hughes was sentenced to 10 years, nine months in prison in May 2014 after being found guilty of numerous sexual assault charges. He is eligible for parole in April.
Sarah believes Ben may have been "so invested" in her story that it changed him.
"He was so invested in the story and part of me almost felt guilt for a while because I didn't know if he had been that way - and that's why he was so invested - or if he did so many of these stories [that] it changed something in him, and it almost made him that way," she told host Tracy Grimshaw.
Ben famously tracked down Hughes in Singapore and confronted him on ACA live on air about sexual assault allegations.
Worryingly, years after he famously confronted Hughes, Ben himself pleaded guilty to child pornography charges in 2017.
Tracy Grimshaw felt the need to apologise to Sarah on A Current Affair after disgraced reporter Ben McCormack made a shock reappearance on video footage used in the show.
During a segment on convicted sex offender and former Hey Dad! star Robert Hughes being up for parole, the show's former senior reporter Ben McCormack appeared in old footage.
At the end of her interview Tracy apologised again to the former child actress.
“Before I finish, Sarah, I want to talk to you something that’s deeply uncomfortable for us,” she said.
Before crossing to Sarah to get her opinion on her abuser being released in a few months, Tracy addressed the disgraced journalist's appearance in the story.
“Before we speak with Sarah, let me address a point we’ve never shied away from,” Tracy said.
“You may have noticed our former reporter Ben McCormack in that story.
“McCormack left this show in disgrace two years ago after pleading guilty to child pornography charges.
“His involvement many years before in our Hey Dad investigation has caused us distress and embarrassment.
“But that interview in Singapore remains the only time Hughes has publicly addressed the allegations against him, so it’s an important historical record.
“We wish we’d sent someone else but of course we didn’t know then what we know now.”
“Our former reporter Ben McCormack was featured, we felt unavoidably, in (tonight’s) story.
“It was a source of discomfort for us, we thought about it a lot. Are you comfortable with him appearing in that story?”
“I mean, he was part of it so I guess he kind of has to be, you can’t take it away,” Monahan replied.
“That’s true. I’ve never had an opportunity to apologise to you publicly for introducing him to you back then,” Grimshaw said.
“Of course, we had no idea. Everyone is brilliant in hindsight and we had no idea what would ultimately transpire but I do apologise to you. Have you processed that?”
Sarah said McCormack’s conviction was “surreal” because of how “invested” the former TV reporter had been in the story.
“A part of me almost felt guilt for a while because I didn’t know if he had been that way and that’s why he was so invested in the story or if he did so many of these stories, it changed something in him and almost made him that way,” Monahan said.
One lesson to take from was that people involved in the criminal world are “so well hidden”, Sarah said.
“They really are, it was a great lesson to us,” Tracy said.
Ben McCormack, 44, pleaded guilty to child porn offences in 2017 but avoided jail over his involvement in the paedophile ring.